Date Warp

When Janet agrees to go on a blind date with a boy named Bradley, their car breaks down in the middle of the rain.  They seek shelter in a mysterious mansion with four strange people inside.  These people are hiding something and it’s up to Janet and Bradley to find out what.

I know, that sounded a lot like the Rocky Horror Picture show, but the game is way more serious, then again it’d be hard not to be.  Not only is the game a dating sim, it’s also an intriguing visual novel.  You play as Janet and get a choice between five love interests.  Bradley, the honorable jock; Linds, the lecherous scientist; Alben, the mysterious hothead (my personal favorite); Nathaniel, the wealthy gentleman; and Raphael, the sweet but shy assistant.  Each character comes with two endings (a good one and a bad one) with the exception of one who I will not mention.  Try to get every single one, because each storyline reveals the plot little by little.  Throughout the game, there is one recurring theme; would you sacrifice the life of someone else to get a loved one back?  There’s also another theme that contradicts itself in the story.  When it’s revealed that one of the characters had a girlfriend who had a promiscuous lifestyle before meeting him, that character just said that it didn’t matter because he loved her.  However, Janet has the option to sleep with one of the characters, and when you do; you get that character’s bad ending.  That’s like-, well, I think sfdebris’ micro-review of Enterprise’s Stigma sums that up perfectly.  Oh, and don’t tell me that it’s wrong because Janet’s dating Bradley, going on one blind date with someone does not automatically make them your significant other.

During the game, you are making choices, but you are doing so in a unique way.  What you do is play futuristic game of pipes to connect a light bulb to that choice you make.  If you are replaying the game and making that exact same choice, you can skip the mini-game.  You also have the option of fast-forwarding through previously read text, something you’ll be very grateful for.  There is also gallery you get to add pictures to and a list of endings you’ve achieved.  One ending can only be unlocked when you’ve reached all the other endings, and at best, the other endings are bittersweet.

This game was my first introduction to visual novels.  It’s a mystery, sci-fi, fantasy and romance rolled into one, and it has a recurring theme of love and sacrifice.  I give this game 9 out of 10.  I took a point off for the contradicting theme, and it didn’t have a huge emotional affect on me.

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